Saturday, August 15, 2009


minutiae: precise details; small or trifling matters.

The devil is in the details.
And I am deviled by details. The many small bits both precise and necessary, and absolutely trivial. Yet they fight for space and don't recognize the difference between themselves.

How long ago did the baby nap. What size shoe is girl A wearing now. Did I put a sandwich in the lunch bag. Are we out of milk. Is the garage door closed. Have I seen C's shoes lately. Is it time to meet the bus. What will dinner be. Have they had a bath in 2 days. Are there dirty clothes under the bed. Is the porch light on. Where is the case to that CD. Did I sign & return the HW log.

The thoughts run through and around as they do with us all, until a point in time when exhaustion sets in and I plead for no more thoughts, requirements or memories of responsibility. Until the worn-down mantle settles over me and I am done. And I need a moment and a space around myself where there is no other, and in particular no one smaller than myself. It is the balance of motherhood that must be recognized. The tipping point that, left unseen, can only be trouble. On one side lies rechargeable personal batteries and rejuvenation. The other side carries only chaos and bitter fatigue.

The minutiae holds it all. The precise details of a functioning life, and the trifling matters of human nature. The minutiae holds the mother. And she must delve into it to recognize that crucial moment of stepping away for the breath. Releasing the details into the ether, and trusting that no small thing will go undone, come undone for the moment.

I take the breath, stand in the center, become whole again.


  1. See...this is what I was trying to tell my husband when I snapped "no, I haven't checked my e-mail". To which he mistakenly asked "why not?". My next snap - "because I haven't HAD TIME!"
    Your writing is eloquent and spot-on, girl.
    I think I'll print this off for my dear husband and simply hand it to him instead of snapping next time.

  2. Your writing is eloquent and spot-on, girl!
    I am printing this and handing it to my dear husband the next time he mistakenly asks me "why not?" as a response to me saying I hadn't gotten to a chore yet. (Instead of snapping like I just did.)
    Thanks for letting me know I am not alone. :D

  3. Is that how you spell that word...
    hang in there.
    Oh! you would love the game of whack a mole we have been playing here this week! whew...


Put it right here, babe!